cover image Stars, Hide Your Fires

Stars, Hide Your Fires

Jessica Mary Best. Quirk, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-68369-351-2

Eighteen-year-old Cass lives in the Helia Empire on Sarn, a minor moon of the planet Danae. Cass supports her ill father by scavenging for scrap, pickpocketing unsuspecting passersby, and running cons with her small chosen family. When Cass learns of an opportunity to make “change-your-life-forever” amounts of money, she and her family rush to prepare her for the Ascension Ball, a gathering of society’s crème de la crème to celebrate a new emperor’s coronation. Once she arrives at the gala, Cass quickly enlists enigmatic fellow attendee Amaris as her trusted partner in crime. But when the emperor is mysteriously murdered, all fingers point to Cass as the culprit, setting off a chain of events that plunges Amaris, Cass, and Cass’s crew into convoluted interstellar politics, nascent rebellion, and a fight for survival. Rich with inviting detail, this genre-blending adventure smorgasbord features socially conscious commentary regarding financial disparity and an intricate plot that’s equal parts sci-fi, murder mystery, and fast-paced thriller. A sweet, gently played romance and a widely utilized, intersectionally diverse cast add nuance to Best’s tantalizing debut. Ages 14–up. [em](July) [/em]